Taming the Liberation Theologians

In Latin America, the church struggles over the plight of the poor

In Nicaragua, four Roman Catholic priests remain as officials in the Marxist- led Sandinista government in defiance of canon law, which prohibits priests from holding public office. One of the priests was expelled from the Society of Jesus in December; the other three priests were forbidden in January by the Vatican to perform their sacerdotal duties if they did not resign in two weeks. Insists Fernando Cardenal Martinez, the former Jesuit and Nicaragua's Education Minister: "There is no basic religious problem between the church and the revolution. What exists is a political confrontation."

In Brazil, a mild-mannered Franciscan friar awaits a...

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